Cobb Salad

Cobb Salad

A Classic

Cobb salad is the quintessential American salad, first pulled together on a whim by Robert Cobb of the former Los Angeles landmark Brown Derby restaurant when he needed to feed Sid Grauman late one night (1937).

It was such a hit, movie stars started requesting “Cobb’s salad”, and soon its popularity spread.

The original Brown Derby restaurant on Wilshire Blvd. was eventually torn down in the 80s, like so many downtown LA landmarks—Perinos, the Ambassador Hotel—leaving a swath of strip malls in their place.

I fondly remember the Brown Derby.

It was in the shape of huge brown hat (you couldn’t miss it) and within a few blocks of where we lived when I was a kid.

Ah well, that big brown hat is long gone, but thank goodness the salad remains, a legacy of the Golden Era of Hollywood!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 head of romaine
  • 1/2 head of Boston lettuce
  • 1 small bunch of frisée (curly endive)
  • 1/2 bunch of watercress, coarse stems discarded
    All lettuces should be rinsed, spun or patted dry, and coarsely chopped
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 2 ripe avocados, seed removed, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 whole skinless boneless chicken breast (about 3/4 pound total), halved, cooked, and diced (see How to Poach Chicken)
  • 1 tomato, seeded and chopped fine
  • 2 hard-boiled large eggs, separated, the yolk finely chopped and the white finely chopped (see How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1/3 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1-2 teaspoons sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Roquefort